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Old 11-01-2018, 11:50 AM   #1
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Smile Effects of Preventative Quarantining

Hello all,

I'm pretty new to this forum so I'm still working my way around here. I tried looking up this issue on other threads, but didn't quite find an appropriate response to what I'm facing.

I currently picked up some new fish (neon tetras, bloodfin tetras, and some guppies) from the LFS yesterday. As with all my fish, I place them in a 20 gallon quarantine tank prior to rehoming them into my planted display tanks to make sure they don't introduce unwanted parasites or diseases into my stocked tanks. I typically monitor them for approximately a week and if they show no signs of lethargy, ich, or common illnesses, then I go ahead and place them into my display tanks.

About three hours after my fish have been in the quarantine tank, they are still behaving fine, none of them being lethargic or gasping for air. However, I am noticing some of my tetras have a slightly reddened gill (see picture below).

I am not sure if this is because of their semi-transparent nature or if it's something I should be concerned about. From looking it up online, I keep seeing ammonia burn as a common issue, but I checked my water parameters and they are as follows:

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 20
pH: 7.6
gH: 80ppm (4.8 dgH)
kH: 40ppm (2.23 dkH)
Chlorine: 0ppm
(Ammonia - Nitrite - Nitrate - pH - gH - kH - Chlorine): 0, 0, 20, 80, 40

This is my quarantine process and setup:

I have a 20-gallon tank setup with no plants - similar to a breeding/nursing tank. I also have an airstone strip (12") to help oxygenate the water as well as a HOB filter and a heater. The water temperature is set to 78 F (25.5 C) and is measured to be between 76-78 F with a thermometer. This tank has been running for over two years now with a sponge filter that I take from my established tank to make sure there's enough beneficial bacteria to handle the bioload of the incoming fish.

Once I get home from the LFS, I place the bags in the water (sealed) for about 30-40 minutes to equalize the temperature. Once I open the bags, I use the drop and plop method where I drain all the contents of the bag into a Home Depot bucket through a fish net to prevent contaminating the quarantine tank water with the LFS water. The pH of my LFS and my quarantine tank water is about the same. Once all the fish are in the quarantine tank, I dose the tank with API General Cure, E.M. Erythromycin, and Super ICK Cure. I monitor the fish over the next couple hours to observe any unusual behavior and check water conditions at the end of the day to make sure there isn't any ammonia spike. As I mentioned, I keep an eye on them for about a week before transferring them into my display tanks if they do not show signs of illnesses.

Again, this is my first time posting on this forum so if I'm missing anything, please let me know and I'll do my best to answer! Thanks again to everyone who takes their time to read and help
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:35 PM   #2
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At this point, the fish you posted looks ok to me. I think it's probably just the natural red gills against the light color of his body in that area.

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Old 11-01-2018, 02:51 PM   #3
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I think you should be recognized for the thorough process you use! I probably would not proactively medicate, but that is me

I think the tetra needs to become comfortable and color up. Gills wonít stand out like they do with good color, imo
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Old 11-12-2018, 11:08 AM   #4
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I love the thoroughness of your quarantine routine. I wasnít aware we could dose all three meds at once. That will save me some time in the future. Thanks.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:52 PM   #5
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Your quarantine procedures sound great. The fish looks fine to me. I might observe him for another week just to be cautious.
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Old 11-14-2018, 01:56 AM   #6
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Welcome to the community ptienpasertkij!

As for medicating, I would not medicate all these at once unless a DR. agreed they would be fine together. Medications are hard on fish and to be hit with that many all at once is likely causing unnecessary stress to them, imho, and I am not a DR. and not a an expert.

But I do know through some serious illnesses in my own tanks, that meds do cause physical stress to the fish. The meds are harsh on a already delicate fish.

Most Neons are now farm raised, but the traveling across country in bags which can turn toxic and handled often not very delicately, and dropped into busy tanks can cause more stress.

I have found using a dewormer flake food during QT is very useful. Again a med, but in the fish I have been getting over the last few years I think there have been a surprising increase, noticeable amount of internal parasites in the fish.

The Neon looks okay to me.

You are right to watch for gasping, but it sounds like your are keeping a good watch on them.

Many people think that holding the fish in QT for a longer period is even better, some are 2 weeks, some 3 and others think 4. The most important thing for new fish is having good fresh water and ideal water parameters.

How long they stay in QT is also dependent upon how valuable the fish you have in the main tank are. Valuable personally or monetarily. In case of having to replace them.

I have also QT for only a week or so at times, so not throwing out judgement, just a few ideas. Good luck and happy fish keeping.

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Old 11-14-2018, 09:12 AM   #7
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One of the keys to quarantining is to observe, over time, new fish and to prevent diseases from getting from new fish to your old fish. You should be aware that there are diseases (mostly parasites) that can have an 8 -10+ week life cycle so the longer you can observe away from the display tank, the better off you'll be IMO.
In the old days, ( I've been around fish for a while ) medicating immediately was almost mandatory because the fish were usually raw so any number of issues could be on or in the fish. Today's fish are not like that anymore. There is a good chance that they have been medicated at least once on their journey from source to you if not more. This is why QT is for observation, not treatment, unless the fish breaks down. At that point, having a proper diagnosis and treated specifically for the situation should have a better outcome than general mass treatments. I highly recommend the diagnostic charts in this book https://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Fish.../dp/0866227032 for properly diagnosing any problems. ( It is available from more than just Amazon. )
In your case, the fish's red gills may have been a reaction to one of the meds, an ammonia buildup in the bag you brought the fish home in or the rapid change in water chemistry from the "Cut and dump" method of acclimation. (There are other threads on here about acclimation so I won't get into it here.) At this point, there is no real way to tell. As long as the fish is still alive, it should recover with no issues.

As the others have said, there are many ways to "properly" acclimate new fish or quarantining time periods and each can be dependent on the fish in question. The cut and dump might work for some fish while it can kill others. The one week time may work for hardier fish but not be long enough for more fragile or wild caught fish. It's all dependent on what fish we are talking about. There is no "One size fits all" unfortunately.

Hope this helps.

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